STATE SOFTBALL -- Blue Devils send No. 1 team, defending champs packing

HASTINGS — Kennedy Maly’s two-out single to center brought home Josie Thompson in the bottom of the 10th inning to keep Wayne High’s hopes alive with a 4-3 win over top-seeded and defending-champion Elkhorn South Thursday afternoon in the Class B State Softball Championships.

Elkhorn South got on the board in the top of the first with a solo home run, but Wayne answered with three in the bottom of the first, as Tori Kniesche had a two-run single and Sidney Biggerstaff followed with an RBI single to make it 3-1.

The Storm scored single runs in the fourth and sixth to tie the game, and Wayne had a chance to win the game in regulation after a leadoff double  by Abby Ankeny, but were unable to score.

Both teams blew big chances to break the tie in the eighth and ninth innings. Elkhorn South had the bases loaded with nobody out in the 10th, but Kniesche got her 18th strikeout of the game to end the rally.

Thompson started the bottom of the 10th at second under the international tiebreaker rule, but was still there after pop outs by Masyn Dorey and Jenna Trenhaile. Maly took a 2-2 pitch through the middle into center, bringing Thompson home with the winning run to keep Wayne’s hopes alive and send the top-ranked team in the state home after an 0-2 finish at state.

Wayne outhit Elkhorn South 9-5, led by two hits apiece from Maly and Kniesche. Kniesche struck out 18 and allowed just five hits and one walk to help Wayne improve to 29-4 heading into their next matchup with Seward later this afternoon.

The Wayne Herald

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